A Texas college student working as a dog walker was permanently disfigured last month when two dogs pounced on her in a “bloodthirsty” attack, a civil lawsuit alleges.
Jacqueline Claire Durand, 22, of Coppell, had just opened a home's front door on Dec. 23 to walk Lucy, a German shepherd mix breed, and Bender, a mixed-breed pit bull, according to the lawsuit filed Tuesday in Dallas County.
The animals were not in kennels and rushed at Durand, violently attacking her, the lawsuit said. Durand has undergone multiple operations since the mauling, the lawsuit said.
“The Dogs knocked Jacqueline off balance, causing her to fall and drop her cell phone. Then, the Dogs violently attacked her head and face — mauling her catastrophically. The Dogs were so violent and bloodthirsty that they pulled all of Jacqueline’s clothes off, including her blue jeans,” the lawsuit said.
The dogs tore off and ate her ears and most of her face below her eyes, according the lawsuit.
It alleges negligence and premise liability by the dogs’ owners, Ashley Jo Bishop and Dr. Justin Avery Bishop. It also names them as defendants in their capacities as trustees in a family trust.
The Bishops were not immediately reached for comment Thursday afternoon.
Durand, an avid dog lover who worked as a dog sitter and walker while she was at the University of Texas at Dallas, never envisioned how her fondness for the animals would “cost her so much,” the lawsuit said.
The day of the attack was the first time Durand had been hired to walk the animals, although she had previously met the dogs when she discussed the job with Ashley Bishop, according to the lawsuit.
The Bishops were aware their pets had violent tendencies, the lawsuit said, and the dogs were out of the kennels they were usually kept in.
The defendants also knew their dogs were aggressive toward people who approached the front door, according to the suit.
The lawsuit cited a sign by the Bishops’ home entrance that read: “Crazy Dogs. Please Don’t Knock or Ring the Bell. Call or Text Instead.” The sign also urged visitors to leave packages by the door, according to the lawsuit.
The dogs were captured and placed in the care of the City of Coppell before a municipal judge decided this month that both animals should be euthanized, according to NBC Dallas-Fort Worth.
Durand's attorneys have appealed the judge’s order to give them time to inspect the animals, the station reported.
Chip Brooker, an attorney representing Durand, said Thursday he's "amazed by her strength."
“It’s a day-by-day journey for Jacqueline right now,” Brooker said.
The Bishops have not apologized to her, he said.
Durand seeks a jury trial and compensation of more than $1 million, the lawsuit said.